|Crock Pot Pinto Bean Stew with Gluten Free Jalapeno Corn Dumplings|
Beans weren't something my mother prepared very often when I was growing up. She made terrific pasta and meat dishes, but beans were only a sometimes food. When I decided to become a vegetarian in high-school my stomach went into shock due to the sudden increase in bean consumption. Luckily I got used to it and to this day I eat a substantial amount of beans every week. My husband was born and raised in West Virginia and pinto beans were always a stable in his house. When we got married I had to learn to cook with pinto beans since I had only eaten black, white and navy beans previously. Now days we eat pinto beans regularly and my kids love them. This week I tried a new recipe for Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno Corn Dumplings from the April 2013 issue of Eating Well magazine.
This recipe has 20 ingredients. It takes 9 hours in the slow cooker, 30 minutes of prep and makes 8 servings. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I allowed my beans to soak overnight. The overnight soaking method is the way that I prefer since it takes less active time than quick soaking on the stove. Since I eat gluten free I used brown rice four instead of the all purpose flour called for in the dumpling recipe. For the topping I let off the sliced radishes. My kids do not like them and my local grocery store didn't have them in stock. I let my beans cook on high for 8 hours and then another hour with the dumplings. I always allow my pinto beans to cook for at least this long. Beans in the crock-pot take a will in order to come out soft and flavorful.
The dumplings in this stew are the stars of this dish. The stew tasted like any other vegetarian chili and didn't leave a lasting impression. I thought that the pinto beans would be better cooked with a ham hock with the dumplings served on top. Pinto beans cooked in the slow cooker are delicious and the dumplings would work well with them as a topping. My two boys liked the chili (I seeded the jalapeno and used mild chili powder so it wasn't too spicy). They ate their servings and most of the leftovers.
For the recipe go to Pinto Bean Stew.